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Female Sexual Dysfunction

Nearly 90 percent of middle-aged and older women are reported to suffer from decreased desire to make love, not being aroused by sexual stimuli, or inability to climax. Lack of desire is associated with poor health, overwork, lack of privacy, or failure to be in a caring relationship. It is also associated with depression, certain medications and drugs, and low blood levels of the male hormone, testosterone. According to a study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (July 2002), 87 percent of married women claim that they have decreased desire, 83 percent find it very difficult to climax, 74 percent lubricate poorly, and 71 percent have discomfort on making love.

Every woman who feels that she has Female Sexual Dysfunction should realize that hundreds of different medications can prevent a woman from having desire or being able to climax: antihistamines, blood pressure medications, antibiotics, cancer drugs, stomach and intestinal medications, contraceptives, sleeping pills, antidepressants, alcohol, recreational drugs, and all the antiestrogens such as tamoxifen and Lupron.

Many products on the market today are sold to increase sexual desire; they often have some variation of Viagra in their names. There is no evidence whatever that Viagra increases sexual desire in women or in men. Viagra helps a man achieve an erection by increasing blood flow to the penis. It fills a woman's pelvic organs with blood. Since vaginal secretions come from the bloodstream, Viagra will increase vaginal secretions, even though it does not increase desire. The common cold medicine called ephedrine also increases vaginal secretions and can be used to increase lubrication. Prescriptions containing phentolamine can markedly increase vaginal lubrication.

Some products claim that yohimbine that increases sexual desire. Several studies show that yohimbine is not more effective than a placebo, so nobody should waste money on yohimbine products to improve sexual desire or performance.

The most common cause of a dry vagina after stimulation is a vaginal infection that should be treated with the appropriate medication to kill the offending germ, whether it is yeast, herpes, chlamydia, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, a wart virus or intestinal bacteria.

Every women who suffers from decreased sexual desire, decreased arousal or lack of orgasms should get blood tests for testosterone and DHEAS. Testosterone is the male hormone produce by the ovaries, and DHEAS is the male hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Testosterone can increase sexual desire, even in women who have normal or high levels of that hormone.

It is very common for women to lose interest in making love after they have had their ovaries removed because a woman's ovaries continue to produce large amounts of male hormones for her entire life. Many women who have had their ovaries removed require testosterone to increase their sexual desire.

The majority of women over age 50, and many under 50, cannot climax with penile-vaginal lovemaking because the vagina is not the source of an orgasm. It takes continual and prolonged stimulation of the clitoris for most older women to achieve an orgasm. A vibrator can provide this stimulation if other techniques are not effective.

Checked 8/9/09

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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